Born from the ashes of a fine tradition of New Zealand guitar music, The Doubtful Sounds have risen to bring pop music back to the masses.
Long in the making, The Pop Album is their debut album and sets them clearly on their course. Surely no one can resist the toe-tapping Saturday Night or Lightly to raise the soul, or the grow-on-you-till-you-believe-in-hope song of dark times – Here Right Now.
Matt and James carry a strong understanding of their Flying Nun laden history with them on their journey, yet they don’t let that weigh them down. Instead it’s simply a building block to which they add a dynamic depth that might be more associated with The Lucksmiths (Australia), Math and Physics Club (USA), Frightened Rabbit or Broken Records (both of Scotland).
Perhaps it’s in the name, if you are seeking long searching guitar landscapes, stop reading now. The Doubtful Sounds are true to their guitar pop roots, with good melodies, strong leading harmonies and an ever present rhythm that proves to be the foundation of the band. Sure, they attempt a little bit of shoe-gazing, but this is only to bring greater breadth to their repertoire with well crafted chord changes and some unexpecteted twists.
In preparation for The Pop Album, James (based in Wellington, New Zealand) brought songs steeped in Mutton Bird-esque storytelling (Colonel, Arctic Ocean) while Matt (based in Auckland, New Zealand) lends songs reflecting feelings of love, loss and hope (She Swoons, I’m Running, Sleep). When they collaborate, the best in both comes out – Red Sky, Good Keen Kiwi and No 1 Line (more a poetic tapestry than a song).
Though they clearly don’t take themselves too seriously, their music is something else.
New Zealand import. Hand numbered limited edition.
Tracklist: Pop Album / Saturday Night / Lightly / Here Right Now / She Swoons / Arctic Ocean / I’m Running / Sleep / Red Sky / Colonel / Where The Wind Blows / Fifty Million Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong / Good Keen Kiwi / No 1 Line